Category Archives: Guardian

FREE Understanding Elizabeth

My latest novel, Understanding Elizabeth, is on Book Bub today!

I have never been good at keeping my feelings to myself, so I’m going to FREELY admit that I’m VERY excited about being on Book Bub. I tried years ago to promote my books with them, but I wasn’t accepted. For me, this is a milestone.


The giveaway is for Amazon Kindle only, but if you don’t own a Kindle, that’s not a problem. I downloaded the Kindle app for FREE to my phone. Now I have several thousand books at my disposal wherever I am.


Stuck standing in line? I whip out my phone, go to the app, and read. Waiting at the doctor’s office? I actually like it. Stuck in traffic? It doesn’t bother me.

And – because I love you all so much, and I’m just that kind of person (Ha!) – I’ve lowered the prices of ALL of my books to $1.99 for the two day sale. Even A Very Austen Christmas is $1.99 for two days!


So, hurry over to Amazon and download some enjoyment for those times you’re sitting somewhere bored to death. You won’t regret it.

Here’s a little secret: If you already have the book, you can “gift” it to a friend for FREE!



I always have a goal in mind when I write. Since I have never been wealthy, there are things that I want (and even need), and writing is an enjoyable means to acquiring those extras.

Writing The Guardian Trilogy was a steep learning curve. My main goal was to publish. At that time, it didn’t occur to me that I could make a profit.

The Yours by Design series paid for new floors in my house, as well as expenses associated with my younger daughter’s wedding and a trip to Japan to see my older daughter and her family.

By that time, I had caught on that having a set goal in mind helped to push me to write. When I started working on Understanding Elizabeth, I knew exactly what I wanted (and badly needed), and Saturday, my husband and I went and bought it. (Happy dance!)

I traded in my 2005 Honda Accord for a 2015 Nissan Sentra (with only 4,000 miles on it)! Coincidentally, my sixty-third birthday is this Sunday, so the car is a two-fer.

Happy birthday!

Thank you, readers and writing friends. Looking at the tangible evidence of my work and knowing you helped me realize my dreams gives me great joy.

Every time I drive my car, I smile and think of you.

Quotable Pride and Prejudice Winners


Answers to Pride and Prejudice quote questions:

    1. Jane Austen (the first line in the book)
    2. Elizabeth
    3. Mr. Bennet
    4. Elizabeth to Mrs. Gardiner – Exact quote: “What are men to rocks and mountains?”
    5. Elizabeth
    6. Elizabeth
    7. Darcy
    8. Darcy; 8. Mrs. Bennet
    9. Darcy
    10. Darcy
    11. Darcy
    12. Darcy
    13. Darcy
    14. Darcy
    15. Darcy

Every entrant missed at least one. Sometimes it was a case of too much information. For example: (4) Elizabeth did ask, “What are men to rocks and mountains,” but it was at the Gardiners’ house in Cheapside, not in Derbyshire. Also, “young men” is not in the original. I think it’s quite easy to mistake dialog in the film version for dialog in the book.

Mr. Bennet asked,”For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and to laugh at them in our turn?


Since no one answered all the quotes correctly, I have decided to give prizes to all three entrants. You may choose ebook copies of the entire Yours by Design series, ebook copies of the entire Guardian Trilogy, or an ebook of Understanding Elizabeth when it is published.

Please contact me with your choices and email addresses. You may message me on Facebook.

Would Miss Austen approve?

There is much discussion lately about Jane Austen’s works and the variations written of them by people like me. I try to be very careful when I work with Miss Austen’s characters. My main objective is to avoid having her main characters say or do anything that goes against the way she wrote them. Canva Guardian Cover

I have written both modern and Regency books using the characters from Pride and Prejudice, but in my view, I have never had them do anything that would be objectionable to Miss Austen. The most controversial thing in my work is having Darcy be an angel in the Guardian Trilogy. He is separated from Elizabeth by the difference in their stations. According to the Bible, angels are higher in creation than are humans. Though Xander Darcy is not proud, he is commanding and reserved. He often holds himself aloof. Guarding Elizabeth causes him to change and loving her makes him willing to give up everything he is to marry her. He is a being of high principles. In that respect, I follow the plot line of Pride and Prejudice. There is a time when Darcy loves Elizabeth, but she doesn’t love him because she doesn’t really know him. After she becomes aware of him, there is a “Hunsford” which separates them and nearly destroys her. There is a reconciliation as well.

They do not sleep together before they are wed, and they don’t use foul language. I will never write a dark Darcy, though I have read a few variations with dark Darcys, and I’ve enjoyed them when they were written in good taste. I don’t write Elizabeths who are promiscuous, either.

That’s just me. I have to live with myself and my conscience. I am constrained by my personal beliefs.

I do realize that this blog post sounds judgmental, and heaven forbid we should state an opinion that someone else might not like. There was a day, not so very long ago, that most people would have agreed with me. Now, I’m an outlier. That being said, I haven’t given any bad reviews or heckled anyone who wrote more erotic Austen. Authors have the right to write whatever suits them.

I would hope that I would be allowed the same freedom.



Sisterhood of the Traveling Books (Episode 9)

Velvet deep silence in an ancient grove of fir trees

“And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow…”

Ah, the velvet silence found deep in an ancient grove. Listen carefully and you might catch the muted roar of distant ocean breakers.

A long way from Yeats’ Ireland is the Oregon Coast, but the heart’s cry is the same. Who among us does not long for the peace of such a place? And yet peace is fleeting and its tranquil pulse difficult to capture, even for a poet. “It gave me a devil of a lot of trouble to get into verse,” Yeats says.

Good writing is like that. It’s timeless and honest and true. And anything but easy.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

"Lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore..."

“…I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore…”

Today's book photobomb is Robin Helm's Guardian. Her Xander is right at home here.

Today’s book photobomb is Robin Helm’s Guardian. Her Xander is perfectly at home in this ancient grove.

Have a minute? Listen as Yeats reads his poetry. With off-the-cuff commentary, which for the writer is gold.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books (Episode 1)

Saturday, my husband and I joined friends in celebrating the beautiful weather and promise of coming summer with a cookout. We did all the obligatory Southern cookout activities:

Dennis was the  Corn Hole Champion. That's the real USC - University of South Carolina.

Dennis was the
Corn Hole Champion.

corn hole, bocci,
We heard tales of the hills of West Virginia, possessed squirrels, and how a Stradivarius ended up dropped into a double-seated outhouse just before a concert. Scary stuff.

We heard tales of the hills of West Virginia, possessed squirrels, and how a Stradivarius ended up dropped into a double-seated outhouse just before a concert. Scary stuff.

and (my personal favorite) ghost stories (or gross stories) around a bonfire. Of course we all enjoyed the usual foods at such an occasion: grilled hamburgers and hotdogs with all the fixins, potato salad, potato chips, baked beans, chili, ice cream pies, and strawberry shortcake – with caffeine free Diet Coke, of course.
I requested burned wieners. Am I the only one who eats them that way?

I requested burned wieners. Am I the only one who eats them that way?

I made s’mores for the first time in my life. We used the biggest marshmallows that I’ve ever seen – truly giants among marshmallows.

Guess what I found as I was poking around in the hostess’s flowers? Guardian had somehow sneaked along for the ride.

I wonder which of the books written by the ladies on this blog will jump into my luggage when I’m not looking and end up in Japan with me?

Join us on our summer travels and travails. Oh, the sights we shall see!

There is no Frigate like a Book (1286)

By Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

How did that get in there?

How did that get in there?

S'mores are good, but really, really messy. Worth it? Yes!

S’mores are good, but really, really messy. Worth it? Yes!

This marshmallow was responsible for the disappearance of Pluto (the former planet, not the Disney dog).

The marshmallow which is responsible for the disappearance of Pluto (the former planet, not the Disney dog).

Yes, it really happened.

I recently received an e-mail advising me to “write my own story.” Very few people would be interested in my autobiography, but I have already written much of my story in fictionalized form. Guardian, the first book of The Guardian Trilogy, is filled with anecdotal material from my own life as well as the childhoods of my daughters. The story is almost entirely true.

Guardian angel

Guardian angel

Because the book centers around Elizabeth and Xander/Darcy, her guardian angel, you may wonder at my statement. I actually do believe in angels and demons, and I think that they exist around us in a light frequency (or dimension) which we cannot see, much as sounds in certain frequencies are heard by dogs but not by humans. I wrote what happened, and I attributed the outcome to angelic intervention.

Have you told your story? Do you think it’s a good idea to do so?